Mother struggling to make ends meet

Mother of six, Althea Cox, is crying out for help. She says she is unable to find employment and struggling to make ends meet with her welfare cheques.

Cox said that her assistance, which comes in the form of two payments of $120 each month, is barely enough to cover the costs of feeding her children and managing utilities.

“How a woman like me – that got a home, a light bill, a water bill – that ain’t working since April, contract work done, how am I going to pay bills and feed my children every month? Right now the light bill is carrying about $128, and the water bill now is $98. What am I going to get to buy food?” the mother asked in anguish.

A former Oistins fish vendor, Cox was the third generation of her family who worked in the fishing industry. She followed in the footsteps of her late grandmother Berinda “Baby Doots” Cox, and her mother Margaret Cox. The fish market at Oistins is name in honour of Berinda.

Cox explained her last employment opportunity was in April of last year when she worked on a contract for the Ministry of Transport and Works as a street cleaner. Since then she has been unable to find steady employment to help with her situation.

 Two of her children, aged five and 14, live with her, while the other four have taken residence with family members as a way to help with her expenses.

“The 14-year-old also needs medication, and if I can’t pay for some medication for him now . . . try to understand my situation is serious,” she said.

Cox  manages with the help of strangers as well as the workers and patrons at the Fair Deals store in St Patrick’s Christ Church which she usually frequents. While she is grateful, she is seeking help with employment as well as a revision of her welfare cheques.

“Sometimes the Kiwanis or Lions Club will assist with their packages. Sometimes I get help but because you keep doing it for me doesn’t mean I can keep going by you all the time, going by you because there ain’t any work,” she said.

In March 2014 Cox experienced tragedy when her 13-year-old son Gregory Cox lost his life when he was crushed between a boat and the Oistins jetty.

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